It was 6:45 p.m. on Saturday night; my husband and three children would be walking in through that back door coming home from the pool -- starving -- within seconds. And I had no dinner on the table; not only no dinner but I wasn't even close to being ready for them to be home yet. After years of marriage, I automatically jumped into action. Quickly scooping out a teaspoonful of minced garlic in olive oil, I tossed it into a small pyrex bowl and started the microwave.
15 ... 10 ... 5 ... 0 ... bing. Voila! I open the microwave door and let the smells of what could be interpreted as someone hard at work in the kitchen fill the air. Next, I pull the kitchen stools up on top of the island to give a semblance of the floors having just been washed. Taking the vacuum cleaner out of the hallway closet, I set it in the middle of the living room--laying flat on the ground, as if I had been interrupted by say, someone walking in?
Common sense illusions, setting the stage like the famous Rice Krispies Treats Faker Mom commercial, showing how busy and dedicated I was all day while they were out. That's how you do it. Everyone knows this, don't they?
This past weekend, while zapping the garlic in the microwave, the thought occurred to me: maybe my fellow bloggers that I love so much DON'T know how it's done.
So I'm sharing with all of you today, because I love you:
Super fast tricks and stagings, to make it look like You are worth your weight in gold:
--Pull laundry out of the dryer and don't let it sit in the basket; instead spread it out on the front room floors and sofa, to show you were just working on it when they walked in.
--Always keep an 8-qt pot with water on the stove and a wooden spoon near by. At the first sound of a doorknob jiggling, run to the stove and start stirring. I swear, from behind you'll look exactly like you're making soup.
--Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., always have your hair pulled up in a work ponytail and an apron on your body. Looking dressed and ready for the job.
-- Keep some Windex, a roll of paper towels, a toilet scrub brush, and a bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles in a plastic shoebox container under every single sink in the house. When you hear someone come home, pull out the box and set it up outside of the bathroom door, looking like you're in the middle of scrubbing those stubborn hard water stains.
--At all times during the day, have a cutting board on the kitchen counter or island, a knife along side, and an onion or tomato chopped in half with a few wedges to the side. Looks like you are in the midst of something really good.
--Keep a notebook and pen in a handy place near the phone. If you have only a few seconds notice that someone is about to walk in, grab the notebook, pen, and phone; sit down in a chair, and play out an exasperating phone call to an insurance company. Rub your face with your hand and let them see you roll your eyes. Your significant other will be so grateful that you've saved them from these hell's fires that they'll blow you kisses as they walk past you.
--Never lay in the backyard hammock or chaise without your gardening gloves on, kneeling pad close by, and a paper bag with a few token weeds inside. The stage is set that; obviously, you're just taking a break from weeding, I mean: your gloves are on.
--And my most desperate ace in the back pocket that I save for when the day has been a total bust and it's only me to blame: I tie a scarf around my head with an ice pack underneath while wearing sunglasses in the house. The whole family knows the Migraine Get-Up, and no one dares ask "what did you do all day?" when they know it could get as ugly as a bear waking up early from hibernation. *note: it's not a lie if you don't ever say you have a migraine. I never say I have a migraine. This is one case where assume doesn't make an a** out of u or me.
Sneaky, yes. Worth it? You got it. Does it work? My husband and children reply with this, when describing me, "She works so hard for all of us. Really. She's always working. We hit the jackpot."
You know what they say about the best relationships; both sides feel like they got the better end of the deal.
And now I've got to get to bed: big plans tomorrow; Meg Ryan Marathon on TMC. Setting up the minced garlic as we speak.
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******************************************************************** **An internet friend I've known for almost two years now, the wonderfully real Erin Margolin, is recovering from surgery. She's called in a few reinforcements to lighten the load for her while she recuperates. I am proud to be helping Erin heal, and I have a post there today, on something in my life I never anticipated.